We recently wrote about the Ontario government’s proposed changes to the province’s employment standards and labour relations legislation – see our blog posts here and here. On June 1, 2017, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Kevin Flynn, introduced legislation to affect these changes. Bill 148, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and to make related amendments to other Acts (“Bill 148”) unanimously passed First Reading with approval coming not only from the governing Liberals but also from a significant number of members of the opposition parties.

This early approval suggests that many key amendments in Bill 148 may become law prior to Ontario’s next provincial election – to be held on or before June 7, 2018. At present, Bill 148 has been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (with dates scheduled in the coming months for the Committee to meet to consider Bill 148).

While Bill 148 is consistent with many of the recommendations in the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, it does not reflect the recommendation that multiple franchisees of the same brand operating without common control and direction may be required to bargain together centrally.

We will continue to monitor the progress of Bill 148.